2018 Laurelville GuideLocal

History of Hocking Hills

Photo by Wes Murphy

Hocking Hills State Park, located in Logan, Ohio, consists of six areas covering roughly 2,000 acres characterized by sandstone outcroppings, deep gorges, ancient hemlocks, and stunning waterfalls. The many entrancing features of the Hocking Hills State Park are carved into the Blackhand sandstone that resulted from centuries of weathering and natural erosion. Surrounded by approximately 9,238 acres of the Hocking State Forest, the park itself consists of Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls, Ash Cave, Conkles Hollow, Rock House, and the Cantwell Cliffs. The park is home to a myriad of flora and fauna, among which are barred owls, white-tailed deer, and bobcats, as well as some of the state’s more unique plants, such as slipper orchids, sullivantia, and the devil’s walking stick.

Photo by Mark Sandy

The area where the park stands today was once a rendezvous point for many Native American tribes. Dating back to the early 1700s, one tribe in particular, the Wyandot tribe, made the Hocking Hills area their home. The Wyandots settled along the border of the Hocking River bank, which they called “Hockhocking,” meaning “bottle river,” from which the Hocking area name was derived. By the time the late 1770s rolled around, pioneers were beginning to arrive to the Hocking area, the path to their settlement primarily paved by the passage of the Northwest Passage and the Treaty of Greenville. Encouraged to settle by the vast amount of natural resources that the surrounding land had to offer, it didn’t take long for pioneers to make their way to what would become the present day area of Logan.

Photo by Lesli Messinger

With pioneers settling into the land, the cave and park regions of Hocking became popular beginning in the 1860s. People would go on picnics and explore what would soon become the Hocking Hills State Park, which was officially established in 1952. The park still remains a popular place for families and the like to spend time enjoying the serenity of nature and remembering a simpler time.

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